Jennifer Atkinson and several students from her climate seminars have been featured in publications on climate anxiety and hope including National Geographic’s Climate anxiety is widespread among youth—can they overcome it? and the book Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis by science writer Britt Wray. The stories feature strategies Atkinson uses in her seminars to keep students engaged in climate education and activism without withdrawing in despair, and include interviews with UWB undergraduates who have managed their climate anxieties by getting engaged in community-based solutions – a centerpiece of Atkinson’s seminars.
Atkinson also spoke at a recent interfaith community event sponsored by University Unitarian Church’s Climate Action Team titled Climate Grief: Moving from Despair to Action. As organizers explained: “It is easy to get weighed down by the enormity of the climate crisis, and overcome by anxiety and grief. There is much to mourn as we see the loss of biodiversity and extreme weather events unfolding all around us. It’s necessary to recognize the grief, and its emotional toll in order to find the strength to take meaningful action and change. To quote Prof. Atkinson, “To successfully navigate the long emergency ahead, we need to build inner resilience, not just seawalls and solar panels.”
For video and additional resources related to this work, visit Atkinson’s resource pages on climate anxiety and hope.